September 2022 • Volume 16, No. 9

From the Editor

Staffing experts have long predicted, then witnessed, a growing shortage of registered nurses, moving in tandem with the aging of the boomer generation. Nobody knew the trend would go into hyperdrive with staffing shortfalls, emotional stresses and burnout from a pandemic. But it has.

“Hospitals nationwide are in desperate need of registered nurses,” writes Monica Correa in a Sept. 6 article in Miami Today. Reporting on the 2022 Trends in Nurse Staffing National Survey, she states that the most needed specialty is surgical; 78% of surveyed hospitals reported the need for medical-surgical nursing staff (up from 60% last year).

Our readers don’t really need to be informed (although we will inform you a little) about the shortage and its impact on the workplace, patients and morale. That’s because you’re living it. You may even be among the 15,000 Minnesota nurses who launched a three-day strike earlier this month over issues of pay, staffing shortages and safety.

Our Student in the Spotlight is Jill Schott, BSN, RN, of Humboldt, IA. 

And scroll down for jobs we’ve collected for you and NIFA’s favorite links.

Hang in there,

Julie Lancaster, Editor

Photo: iStock

Addressing the Shortage

Hospitals Innovate Amid Dire Nursing Shortages

From the AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges), an overview of factors underlying the exodus of nurses, the impact of the vacancies on staff and patients, and remedies hospitals have been employing.
Read more . . .

From a Policy Perspective

“How to Ease the Nursing Shortage in America” is an in-depth look at federal policy issues and strategies that could help alleviate the pressures on the nursing workforce. It was published last May by the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute.
Read more . . .

Nursing Shortage or Shortage of Solutions?

“This tale about a nursing shortage is as old as time, and we are fooling ourselves when we act like this is a new problem,” says David A. Wyatt, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNOR, as quoted in an August 2022 article on OR Manager online. “We complain that there aren’t enough nurses, but we won’t let people get into school, and we don’t want to hire people just out of school. None of this makes sense, and we have got to figure out how to solve this problem.”
Read more . . .

What Some Hospitals are Trying

Hospitals Take Creative Steps

Hospitals in Western Massachusetts have been implementing various approaches to attract and retain nurses. They range from pay increases and signing bonuses to food truck events, extra vacation time, a Comfort Cart that executives push around the hospital to hand out snacks to staff, and “quiet rooms” where nurses can unwind during their shifts.
Read more . . .

Forest Hills Hospital Surgical Nurses Destress with Virtual Tech

Speaking of “quiet rooms,” a hospital in Queens, NY, has purchased virtual reality equipment to help their nurses “go far away” to take a break and relax.
Read more . . .

Photo by Sean Oulashin on Unsplash

And NIFA’s Contribution

As a reminder, NIFA’s own NISE™ (Nurse in Surgery Essentials) course, launched in 2017 and accredited in 2019, is doing its part to ease the shortage of OR nurses. The only ABSNC-accredited novice nurse in surgery training program in the nation, NISE™ helps nurses make a smoother, faster transition to the perioperative setting. A recent NISE graduate even obtained CFPN certification and followed up with achieving CNOR certification!

NIFA markets the NISE™ program to hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers rather than directly to RNs. If this would be relevant at your workplace, please share this link.
Read more . . .

Take a Quick Break

Student Spotlight: Jill Schott


Student Status
Current student in NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Humboldt, IA

Current Position
RN – Operating Room

Where did you get your RN degree?
Iowa Central Community College, Ft. Dodge, IA

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
I worked for a dermatologist who did minor surgeries in the office. I knew I wanted to do bigger surgeries.

What is the scariest moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
One pt. swallowed a sewing needle and we had to remove it from her liver. She survived.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
One and two-handed tying.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
It will make me more knowledgeable and confident.

Jobs Front

Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

NIFA – Office Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm

Practice Resources

Here are several of the most-in-demand sites for our students, prospective students and grads:

MD Edge Surgery News: Specialty News and Commentaries, Videos and More
RNFA Scope of Practice by State (PDF)
ACS List of Cases that Require an Assistant at Surgery, 2020 (PDF)
Perioperative Nurse Links (state nursing boards & professional associations)
APRN Nurse Links

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter are strictly those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIFA. NIFA does not give any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of statements made by our contributors and does not accept any liability for error or omission. It is the responsibility of all perioperative personnel to work within and adhere to their facility bylaws and individual scope of practice.

Copyright © 2022, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

12354 E Caley Avenue
Centennial, CO 80111